Higgins Hall, Lower Campus Projects Nearing Completion

Higgins Hall, Lower Campus Projects Nearing Completion

As work on the new Lower Campus administration building and other campus projects continues on schedule, University administrators say they expect more construction to begin during the next few weeks.

Associate Vice President for Facilities Management Thomas Devine said the new Lower Campus administration building is on track for completion by September. The five-story, 155,000 square-foot structure is being built along the hillside east of O'Neill Library, and will house the Office of Residential Life, the Boston College Police Department, a new dining facility and some academic departments.

Final touch-up work is underway on the renovations to Higgins Hall, with completion expected by mid-June. Earlier this week, crews began work on a rotunda that will be located in front of Higgins and adjacent to Devlin and Fulton halls. The rotunda will include a granite seat wall, small gathering areas, a brick pedestrian walkway and lamps, with grass, trees and attractive landscape features at its center.

Site work and utility relocation begins next week in preparation for construction of a 300-bed residence hall between St. Ignatius Gate and Walsh Hall, which will include suite-style living quarters designed for four, six or eight students per suite, a student lounge, study areas and laundry facilities.

Einhorn, Yaffee, Prescott Architecture & Engineering have designed the building, which will have an external façade similar to the Vanderslice and 90 St. Thomas More residence halls, Devine said. The project's completion is scheduled for the winter of 2004.

The new residence hall is one component in the University's master plan, which calls for 800 additional beds by 2004.

As part of the plan, other residence halls on the Chestnut Hill and Newton campuses are undergoing major renovations to increase their capacity. A project that will add 131 beds through the construction of attic dormers in four residence halls on the western edge of Upper Campus and a new connector building between Fenwick and Xavier halls is underway and should be finished by mid-August, Devine said.

Earlier this month, the University began a project to renovate and reconfigure the Stuart Dining Hall on Newton Campus. Administrators say the plans call for updated equipment as well as serving areas and food preparation facilities similar to those found in Carney's in McElroy Commons and the Lower Campus Dining Hall. The project is expected to be complete by the end of the summer.

A landscaping project for the section of campus west of McElroy Commons at the intersection of Hammond Street and Beacon Street begins next month. Plans call for the reconfiguration of sidewalk to direct pedestrians away from the intersection.

Updates and advisories related to campus projects will be available during the summer through the BCInfo web site.

-Stephen Gawlik


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